Wednesday 28 March 2012

Four challenge for Cairns mayor job

Tarina White
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
© The Cairns Post

Close competition: Margaret Cochrane, Ian Thomas, Val Schier and Bob Manning will vie to ­become Cairns mayor. Picture: TOM LEE

With the nomination period for the Cairns Regional Council election having drawn to a close, the four-way race to become mayor has officially kicked off. Who are you backing for mayor?

Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane has claimed the top spot on the mayoral ballot after a random draw was held yesterday. Cr Cochrane will be followed on the ballot, in order from top to bottom, by Bob Manning, Mayor Val Schier and Ian Thomas.

Meanwhile, 37 councillor candidates across 10 divisions will be vying for a seat on council when residents head to the polls on April 28.

Several contenders entered the five-week race in the final days of the nomination period, including Northern Pride player Rod Jensen, former Cairns City councillor Annette Sheppard and former Mulgrave shire councillor Ross Parisi.

Mr Jensen yesterday joined Cr Cochrane’s election team as a Division 3 candidate, along with Annabel’s Bakery owner Greg Hutton, who will campaign in Division 2. "One of the main reasons I’m running is I want to give something back to the community," Mr Jensen said.

Cr Cochrane, whose Community Alliance team has a candidate in all but three divisions, said she did not nominate anyone in divisions 1, 6 and 10 because those electorates have strong independent candidates. Ms Sheppard, a Cairns City councillor for 17 years who failed in her 2008 re-election bid following amalgamation, said she wanted to run in Division 6 since she disagreed with council’s financial management. "I’ve been disappointed about the performance of council over the last four years," she said.

Mr Parisi, who served on Mulgrave shire council for 14 years, said he threw his hat in the ring for Division 9 because he was "answering the call from the community to bring some sanity and some sage advice back into council".

Cr Schier kicked off the election campaign yesterday by opening her campaign office to the public. "I want to hear from as many people as possible," she said.

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  1. Good morning friends. To all my friends that have sent messages of support and encouragement, I say thank you. I feel overwhelmed and humbled with the level of support. I will give it my best shot so I hope I do not let you all down. Have a wonderful day. Cheers.

  2. best of luck on your return to council Ross

    Jim Cavill


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